The Joyful Pain of the Creative Life

There is no cure for life. It’s not a problem to be solved. It’s an experience to be had, a set of circumstances to be endured, events to be survived, realities to be accepted—more or less on a daily basis, with courage, conviction, humor, and a modicum of hope.

Dennis PalumboWriting from the Inside Out

Although we have much in common with the rest of the animal kingdom one of the key things that separate us is our creativity. We are defined by our creativity and it exists in everything we do. From art, design, literature and film, to manufacturing, science, teaching and law, it is the creative juices within us that make all things happen.


However, the creative process is never without some pain and suffering. It is the price we pay to experience the benefits of the creative human spirit. Few are as aware of this as psychologist and writer Dennis Palumbo.

My conversation with Dr. Palumbo about his book, Writing from the Inside Out, is now available for all to experience and share below or by CLICKING HERE.

Although this is arguably the best book ever written about writing, Dennis made sure it also serves as a guide to dealing with creative struggles in all walks of life.

There’s nothing more painful than struggling with self-doubt…

And, although the pain of self-doubt and loathing is at most times unbearable, it is also what Dennis calls: “The grist for the mill,” because they are the raw materials that make us who we are and therefore is the pulse that drives creativity to its fruition.


The key to dealing with it however is accepting this pain with compassion. As Dennis writes:

Only by labeling a thought or feeling as either good or bad, productive or harmful, are you potentially getting in your own way.

So, however you express your creativity, be it in the classroom, the boardroom, the courtroom, or the writer’s room, be kind to your inner critic for it is “the grist for the mill.”

Plus, airing on most of our PBS stations this week, is my conversation with Pulitzer Prize winning author Edward Larson about his book The Return of George Washington.

Enjoy both shows,





One thought on “The Joyful Pain of the Creative Life

  1. Thanks for this stimulating interview. More perspectives by Dr. Palumbo: “…the process of writing becomes its own reward… you tell the story the way you want to tell the story, and then hope for the best…The frustration, I think, boils down to the fact that I believe screenwriters are the most crucial aspect of a movie, and they’re the ones with the least power and the least control.” – From my post Therapist Dennis Palumbo on the Writer’s Inner Life


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